Feb. 7, 2019 —
Steel cutting for Argus, the Coast Guard’s first offshore patrol cutter (OPC) began Jan. 7, 2019, at Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City, Florida. The heritage-class OPCs will replace the service’s 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters that have been in operation for about 20 to 50 years. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
The Coast Guard and Eastern Shipbuilding Group commenced cutting steel for the first offshore patrol cutter (OPC), Argus, in Panama City, Florida, Jan. 7.
The Coast Guard plans to acquire 25 of the Heritage-class OPCs. This milestone marks the beginning of production activities for the first OPC, and the Coast Guard has ordered long lead time materials for the second OPC.
The OPC meets the Service’s long-term need for cutters capable of deploying independently or as part of task groups and is essential to stopping smugglers at sea, interdicting undocumented migrants, rescuing mariners, enforcing fisheries laws, responding to disasters and protecting our ports. The acquisition of 25 OPCs will complement the capabilities of the Service’s national security cutters, fast response cutters and polar security cutters as an essential element of the Department of Homeland Security’s layered security strategy.
Delivery of the lead ship is scheduled for 2021.
For more information: Offshore Patrol Cutter program page